Film DVD related reviews

DVD title: Star Wars - Clone Wars, Vol. 1 (Animated)
Productgroup: DVD
Star Wars - Clone Wars, Vol. 1 (Animated) - movie DVD cover picture
Excellent episode 2.5!!

After watching these short cartoons on the Cartoon Network, I must say that they make every fan happy, well, those of us at least who have been wanting to see the clone wars since 1977! The bad thing is, though, that I, myself would have liked to have seen more of the clone wars in Episode II. Hopefully we'll get some good battles in Episode III. The animation on these cartoons is a little strange. By the way, everybody, my advice is, if you liked this, go onto ebay and buy one of the greatest films ever concieved, THE STAR WARS HOLIDAY SPECIAL. It is an interesting spin-off of star wars that these clone wars cartoon only wish they could have been!!

Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
Director: Genndy Tartakovsky
Mat Lucas
James Arnold Taylor
Jerome Beidler

DVD title: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (Full Screen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (Full Screen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Common misconception on "Matted widescreen"

I just want to clear up a misconception that another veiwer posted on this sight:The full Screen Version of Christmas Vacation is not Pan-and Scanned. The movie was shot in full frame dimensions, and then the top and bottom was cut off so it would fit a 1.85:1 Movie screen. The "Matted Widescreen" version is what was seen in the theater. With the full screen version, you're actuially not missing 20% of the image, you're actually getting 120% of the image. with the widescreen version, you're getting 100%.

Studio: Warner Studios
Director: Jeremiah S. Chechik
Chevy Chase
Beverly D'Angelo
Juliette Lewis

DVD title: The Frighteners
Productgroup: DVD
The Frighteners - movie DVD cover picture
A well thought out horror/comedy

This is one of those well done movies that balances several genres into a single story. On the one hand, you have Bannister's (Fox) tragic character who never fully got over the death of his wife. And his grief has made him pretty self destructive, so he's fallen from a successful and wealthy architect to a con-man living in his own, half-finished masterpiece. On the flipside of this are his partners in crime, the ghosts who scare Bannister's potential clients into hiring him in the first place. The humor gets pretty bizarre at times, but actually balances very well with the other story elements. Things go from grim, to funny, and back again just when they should. The third angle is the almost gothic and equally bizarre horror element to the story, where the ghost of a dead serial killer shows up as the bad guy. Bannister, the broken down wreck who can barely keep himself together is the only one who can see the killer. Yet even he's powerless to stop his enemy. Even worse, the wonderfully played FBI agent (Jeffrey Combs) has pegged Bannister as the "wacko" killer, though it's clear that the agent is the most deranged of all. Trini Alvarado does an excellent job as his potential love interest. She's a little naive, but strong willed.
If you like well thought out, thinking man's horror (instead of just the slash'em up variety) and have a dark (or even twisted) sense of humor, you'll like this movie.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Peter Jackson
Michael J. Fox
Trini Alvarado

DVD title: The Brady Bunch Movie
Productgroup: DVD
The Brady Bunch Movie - movie DVD cover picture
I was rolling in the aisle!

This movie was hilarious (made even moreso by the fact that I watched it with two friends named Marcia and Peter). I was laughing throughout the whole thing. Of course, you have to have seen the original episodes in order to understand the humor fully. Great film!

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Director: Betty Thomas
Shelley Long
Gary Cole

DVD title: To Kill a Mockingbird (Collector's Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
To Kill a Mockingbird (Collector's Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
In the quest to achieve an impossible feat

Making justice in a film to the best novel in the twentieth century (determined by vote of librarians across the US) is not an easy task. I would say that although there are a few elements of the novel that get lost in the movie, it is still a great production regardless. That is probably why it was nominated for eight Academy Awards in 1962, including best picture, best actor (Gregory Peck), best actress in a supporting role (Mary Badham), best director (Robert Mulligan), best screenplay, best black and white cinematography, best black and white art direction and best original musical score. The movie won two of the eight awards, best art direction and best actor.
The story revolves around the experiences of Scout, a little girl who is telling a story from her childhood. Her father is assigned as the defense attorney of a black young man falsely accused of raping a white girl. The movie does a good job in disseminating the book's main message: racism is destructive and has no basis to exist in our society. If you consider that the book was written in 1960, this is not a minor point, but on the contrary it is a very powerful statement. The movie also does a great job in portraying the qualities found in the character of Atticus Finch, a father who is raising two kids by himself, after losing his wife, and is doing a splendid job at it. Not only he differs from the norm at the time because he never hits his children, but he also tries not to influence their ideas of what is wrong and right. Instead of promoting hatred in Scout and Jem against the people that are racist and unfair, he tries to teach them tolerance to understand that these individuals are acting mostly out of fear. Throughout the story one can observe how the two siblings go from considering Atticus an old man who could not play football with other dads to seeing him as a hero with outstanding values.
It is hard to decide how to rate a movie that is based on such an incredibly awesome book. First, because it is harder to convey the "child's view" in the movie while this is very clear in the book. Second because there are passages of the book that were left out, and although they are not crucial to the story they give it a certain charm (for example the visit of Jem and Scout to Calpurnia's church). Therefore, if I use the book as a benchmark, the movie should be rated four stars. However, I think it makes more sense to compare the movie with other movies, and in this comparison it is extremely clear that "To Kill a Mockingbird" is as good as it gets, consequently deserving the five stars rating.

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Robert Mulligan
Gregory Peck

DVD title: Schindler's List (Full Screen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Schindler's List (Full Screen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Schindler's List.......Spielberg's Oscar

Liam Neeson is Oskar Schindler...a man of the Nazi Party who is appalled at the massacre of the Jews. He springs into action and buys "workers" for his factory by liquidating his assets to save them from annihilation...including from Auchwitz. Brilliant music score by John Williams with violin solos by Isthak Perlman. Surviving Schindler's Lists survivors appear at the end of the movie. Brilliant!

Studio: Universal Studios
Director: Steven Spielberg
Liam Neeson
Ralph Fiennes

DVD title: Gargoyles - The Complete First Season (Special 10th Anniversary Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
Gargoyles - The Complete First Season (Special 10th Anniversary Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
FINALLY available to the masses!

I spent a lot of time & money trying to get the entire series on VHS. I'm glad I did because that was 6 years ago, and it would've been a shame to go this long without being able to watch some of these episodes! This show stands as one of the top 2 cartoons of the '90's in terms of storytelling, next to Batman The Animated Series. Not surprising, because both shows have episodes written by the same writers!

Definitely a show that Disney should've thrown more support behind. But this DVD release is a good start! So if you like Gargoyles, buy this set when it comes out! Especially ON THE RELEASE DATE, Dec. 7, 2004! That's the only way the Powers That Be are gonna know there's enough of a fanbase (AND THERE IS) to keep Gargoyles product coming!

What's my personal stake in this? Simple: I WANT SEASON 2 ON DVD!! And that ain't gonna happen unless this set takes off!! Season 2 alone is 52 episodes, peeps! That 3 or 4 seasons for some shows, and not even good shows at that!

I'm a child of the '80's and as much as I love classic shows like Transformers and Thundercats, they just aren't as WELL-WRITTEN as Gargoyles. Don't get me wrong, I own the entire Transformers series on VHS, DVD, and even LASERDISC(?!?!), but ya gotta give credit where it's due! I've got a fever! And the only prescription is more Gargoyles!

Studio: Walt Disney Home Entertainment

DVD title: The Matrix Revolutions (Full Screen Edition)
Productgroup: DVD
The Matrix Revolutions (Full Screen Edition) - movie DVD cover picture
Fun, Enjoyable, and an Excellent watch

I think the key, as is the case with most movies touted as ground breaking, to enjoy this film, is to have no pre-conceptions. It does seem that the hard core fans have a really overly self conscious view of what the MATRIX material is supposed to be ( hence the Multipack of all films with over 30 hours of extras), so I just took to the DVD as something I wanted to see, since the second film was fun but had no resolution, and I watched, enjoyed the sound on a 5.1 system, and took the dialogue as part of a pretentious film: at the end of the film, I found that I had enjoyed myself immensely.
The Railway station scene is a legitimate point of contention, but I found it to be very similar to the idea behind the film THE 13th FLOOR, where realities were not what they seemed.

The fight scenes were just great: overblown in places, heroic in places, but just a total fun set piece.
I had read so much trash about the film, and the previous ones, that it seemed like it was going to be set up more like some sort of pseudo-Buddhist sermon of the nature of existence. Well, I fail to see how it works as that sort of piece; if you really want to learn what some enlightened souls teach about that, then learn Sanskrit, and read some quite good poetic works in the Buddhist canons.

These films are a blast as fun, escapist material, but as anything beyond that they are not quite there, and if you expect that, then I think you will be more than a little disappointed. But , as fun films, they Deliver, and Keanu works his cinematic magic again, and I suspect he will with CONSTANTINE this upcoming weekend.

This is entertainment people, not the sabbath sermonette; Good fun film, I hope you enjot it as much as I did.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Laurence Fishburne

DVD title: Secondhand Lions (New Line Platinum Series)
Productgroup: DVD
Secondhand Lions (New Line Platinum Series) - movie DVD cover picture
A Little Touching, Educational And Hilarious

Secondhand Lions is the kind of movie that will give you the entertainment that you just need to release your tension besides gaining some pretty educational lessons from it. This movie is nice to watch and its story's good enough. It is amazing that this movie is acted by some remarkable actors such as Michael Caine, Robert Duvall and the young Haley Joel Osment.

Duvall and Caine potray as the McCann brothers that dwell in the rural Texas after being dissapear for over 40 years. Their lifestyle are a little strange and they don't wish to be disturbed by anyone. They are said to have endless supply of cash and have a very mysterious history during their young age. Some say they are bank robbers during the 20's and 30's. They might also be just what they said they were about the travelling around the continents(Africa,Shanghai and many more places)and about the lovely Princess Jasmine that Hub(Duvall) met and also the story about the very powerful Sheikh in Africa. Then, Mae(Sedgwick), Walter's(Osment)irresponsible mother left him at his uncles house(McCann brothers)for the summer holidays where Walter just wished not to go.

Walter then learns that his uncles aren't just ordinary people (seeing how they treat those travelling salesman by shooting them away) and he finds out about their background. After he found a picture of a beautiful women in a box, he's more eager to unravel their mysterious history. He keeps on asking his Uncle Garth about them and as day goes on, he managed to know more and more. Finally, he managed to find out everything about his 2 uncles, BUT the thing is, IS IT TRUE like what his Uncle Garth said ?

In the meantime while he discovering their past, he gets some really educational speech from his Uncle Hub. Some really wonderful speech that I like the most are "A man should believe in what is worth to believe although it might not be true" and "Money and power, power and money means nothing to everyone. Only virtues that are important for a man". This lessons are indeed educational for the young Walter because he has been around his mother's LIES all the time and he doesn't know what to really believe in.

At the end, when Walter's mother comes to bring him home, he tells his mother that he wished to stay with his uncles for a long period of time(at least till after he's through with college). He feels that he could learn much more by staying with his uncles rather than with his mother. The ending is wonderful when the adult Walter receives a call from a syerif telling him that his 2 uncles meet an accident while flying their plane and passed away together in their very old age(over 90 years old).

Walter then gets his uncles' will saying that he gets all their money and then, the Sheikh's grandson came after the news reported about the McCann brothers. The Sheikh's grandson tells Walter that he had heard stories about the great McCann brothers from his grandfather. I feel that this part of the movie is very important to conclude the true background history of the McCann brothers. This part is also important for Walter to know the truth about his uncles that they were really the person they've said they were and not some criminals.

Personally, I prefer this movie very much because everything in this movie is GREAT including the story, ending, soundtracks, the way the actors've brought their character(very appealing) and many more. EXCELLENT! Spend some time and catch this great movie. It's worth to watch!

Studio: New Line Home Entertainment
Director: Tim McCanlies
Michael Caine
Robert Duvall
Haley Joel Osment

DVD title: I Think I Do
Productgroup: DVD
I Think I Do - movie DVD cover picture

This movie is a masterpiece! Every frame is full of real human elements. This movie should be seen by every budding director. It will teach them how to write characters. The acting is just fabulous. The story (friends gather at a wedding and become involve in various triangles) is refreshingly adult, and it's a wonderful life-affirming look at love, laughter, and commitment. It also has a wonderful soundtrack.

Studio: Strand Releasing Home Video
Director: Brian Sloan
Alexis Arquette
Christian Maelen

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